University of Louisville women’s basketball announced today that it will host an exhibition game against the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which is in pursuit of a seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal, on Sunday, Feb. 2.

The game will tip off at 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.

It marks the first time that Louisville will play the USA National Team.

“What an unbelievable opportunity for our program and our fans to host the USA National Team,” said Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz. “They have had so much success, they are an inspiration to women and girls everywhere. It’s an honor to play them on our home court and I’m looking forward to our fans packing the KFC Yum! Center.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased for $10. Tickets are available at GoCards.com/USA or by visiting the KFC Yum! Center or Cardinal Stadium box offices.

The U.S. squad, headlined by four-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), is participating in a NCAA tour in preparation of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. They will also face UConn in Storrs, Conn., on Monday, Jan. 27.

“Louisville’s athletic and they get up and down the floor, so they mirror some of the international players,” said USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley. “For Sue, Diana, A’ja and the other players, they’re looking forward to playing a challenging schedule. They look forward to playing together and hopefully winning together. “

“It’s great for the college teams also. They get to play against Sue and Diana, who have probably played longer than these college players have been alive. But, they get a chance to experience what the next level feels like. And if they take a closer look at how our USA Basketball team operates – they’re full of communication, they really understand how to play the game, so it’s just our entire women’s basketball sport is growing because our older players are teaching our younger players through playing.”

As part of its expanded women’s national team program, USA Basketball has secured commitments from eight elite athletes from the 2019-20 USA National Team pool to participate in the team’s five training segments that will take place between November 2019 and April 2020. In addition to Bird and Taurasi, those eight include Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics/Delaware), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings/Notre Dame), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx/Louisiana State), Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks/Duke), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks/Stanford) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces/South Carolina).

It is anticipated that these eight athletes will compete in the Louisville and UConn games, with the remaining four roster spots to come from the 2019-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team pool.

Louisville hall of famer Angel McCoughtry is part of that USA National Team pool and could possibly be part of the USA’s roster at Louisville.

The USA recently tipped-off its 2019 fall schedule and has earned a pair of victories, 95-80 against Stanford University on Nov. 2 and 81-58 over Oregon State University on Nov. 4. The USA’s final two domestic exhibitions ahead of the Nov. 14-18 FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be at Texas A&M University on Nov. 7 and University of Oregon on Nov. 9.

Following competition of its November NCAA tour, the USA will participate in the FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The USA, joined by Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, will play in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament Group A, which includes Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, will play in Edmonton, Canada. The top two teams from each of those groups will qualify to play in one of the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (sites TBD), Feb. 2-10.

Past USA Basketball teams ahead of the 1996, 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games competed against collegiate teams, and over the course of those three tours, the USA earned a 39-1 record competing against a combined total of 30 different NCAA Division I teams.

The USA National Team, which already has qualified for the 2020 Olympics, is taking advantage of and participating in FIBA’s new Olympic qualification process, which began with the recently concluded FIBA AmeriCup, where the U.S. finished 6-0 and captured gold on Sept. 29 in Puerto Rico. The top eight finishing teams in the AmeriCup qualified for the FIBA Americas Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Olympic Games Women’s Basketball Competition

Winners of the past six Olympic gold medals, the USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal, while compiling an all-time 66-3 record in Olympic play since women’s basketball was first introduced to the Olympic program in 1976.

In 2016, the most recent Olympic Games, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Serbia won bronze.

The USA, by virtue of winning the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, and host Japan already have secured berths into the 2020 tournament. The remaining 10 teams will qualify through the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

The 2020 Olympic competition will see a different tournament format launched in 2020. The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four teams apiece for preliminary play, held July 27-Aug. 3.

Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded, and the top two teams from each group and the two best third place teams, according to FIBA’s placement rules, will qualify for the medal round. In the medal round, teams will compete in a knockout bracket, with winners advancing from the Aug. 5 quarterfinals to the Aug. 7 semifinals. The gold medal game will be played on Aug. 9, on the morning of the 2020 closing ceremony.

About USA Basketball

Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA national teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored five-on-five and 3×3 international competitions, as well as for some national competitions and for the development of youth basketball.

The USA Basketball Youth Development division is tasked with the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety, while promoting, growing, and elevating the game. USA Basketball is committed to providing youth throughout the country safe, fun and developmentally appropriate environments in which they can enjoy the game. Current USA Basketball youth initiatives include coach licensing and education; organization accreditation; coach academies; regional camps; youth clinics; open court programs; Women in the Game conferences; and the U.S. Open Basketball Championships.

Connect with USA Basketball at USAB.com and on Facebook (USABasketball and USABYouth), Twitter (@usabasketball, @USABYouth, @USAB3x3), Instagram (@USABasketball) and YouTube (usabasketball).

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Nick Evans
Asst. Sports Information DirectorWomen’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse
University of Louisville Athletics

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